Case Study: O'Reilly Media

“Our goal is a two-second page load time for our site’s visitors. Before testing Strangeloop’s product, 12% of our site traffic hit that goal. During our three-month trial run with Site Optimizer, that number leaped to 87%. The decision to implement was clear.”

-- Allen Noren, VP Online, O’Reilly Media

Sub-2-second web page load speed is the current holy grail of web performance, according to a 2009 Forrester Consulting report. According to web usability guru Jakob Nielsen, this is due to how the human memory performs. Information stored in our short-term memory decays quickly, which is why we don’t complete tasks as well when we have to wait to do so, even if the wait is for just a few seconds.

On the other hand, a 1-second page load time keeps our flow of thought seamless, meaning that we’re more likely to complete whatever online task we’ve started -- whether that is making a purchase, downloading an app, or contacting a sales representative.

The Performance Challenge

As a leader in the web performance community, O’Reilly Media has made it their critical goal to deliver all of their web pages in under 2 seconds. Like all content-rich sites, however, the O’Reilly website is subject to the same performance pitfalls – everything from third-party widgets to data being served from multiple servers.

The Solution

As knowledgeable participants in the web performance industry, O’Reilly knew what to look for in a front-end optimization solution. They tested Strangeloop's cloud-based Site Optimizer service for a four-week period, and were soon impressed by the immediate results.

The Results

In a four-week test period, O’Reilly saw dramatic improvement in these key areas:

  • Over 600% improvement in moving users to sub-2-second page load speed.
  • 500% improvement in moving people from an 8-30 second page load speed to 2-8 second page load speed.

After the test period was over, the decision to implement was clear. O’Reilly made the decision to roll out Site Optimizer to multiple data centers to accelerate their core site traffic.

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